Ojai Water War ~ The Ojai and Ventura VIEW
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Wed. Mar. 13, 2013: PUBLIC HEARING
Matilija Middle School Auditorium, 6pm -
Casitas Municipal Water District Discuss Details: GET INFO. - QUESTIONS ANSWERED!!! It's very important you show up and voice your opinion at this meeting because Golden State has hired out of town organizations and groups to disrupt the meeting in an attempt make the Casitas Board not allow us Golden State Rate Payers to vote.
Read the Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Casitas Plan
(This is a large pdf document and may take some time to download)
An excellent Cost-Benefit Analysis is posted on the OjaiFLOW website that will explain the details of the Casitas purchase of the Golden State operations in Ojai, and dispel many of the myths created by Golden State. Become informed and speak.
OjaiFLOW Significant Resources
The Casitas buyout plan can be found on the Casitas website under Casitas Board Agendas for the Agenda of Jan. 29, 2013 <-- Here.
Check it out for yourself
You will receive Casitas rates when the purchase is complete. Enter your six bi-monthly Golden State Bills on the Casitas Rate Calculator (select bi-monthly, pumped and the meter size shown on your Golden State bill) to see how much you will save for the year.
NOTE: We are billed Bi-monthly and our water would be pumped.
2. Your annual Bond allocation is based on your property size.
3. The difference between what you are paying Golden State today and what you pay Casitas and the bond is your savings …. plus you are no longer subject to the 7.9% average annual Golden State rate increases.
NOTE: Do not forget to add the settlement amounts back into your Golden State bills.

Learn the Truth - Read OjaiFlow's rebuttals to mailers and claims made by Golden State and their associates under the OjaiFLow page, GS Claims

The Ojai FLOW plan to buy Golden State water is supported by

The City of Ojai, the Ojai Unified School District, the Ojai Valley Defense Fund, the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors, the Surfrider Foundation and thousands of Ojai residents.

Sign up to receive Ojai Flow newsletters and learn the truth

OjaiFlow has Signs! If you need a sign, or if your sign has disappeared, contact OjaiFlow at info@ojaiflow.com immediately.

Please patronize businesses that display the OjaiFlow Stop sign.

What you are about to learn has the largest financial impact of any single event in Ojai's history!

Our schools will have $22,000 more to spend on education and the citizens & businesses in Ojai will have nearly $1 million more annually to spend locally to support our community simply by changing our water purveyor from Golden State Water Company to Casitas Municipal Water District.

By the first half of 2013, the Ojai Golden State Water Company rate payers (GS rate payers) are expected to have an opportunity to vote to take over Golden State Water Company (Golden State) operations in Ojai.

As we have seen already, Golden State doesn't want this to happen and will do try to do whatever it takes not to be run out of town. We expect they will spend over a quarter of a million dollars to fight the rate payers with advertisements, guest editorials in the papers, telephone surveys intended to influence voters, and direct mail to our homes. They may try to create "Citizen" groups claiming to represent Ojai residents supporting Golden State. Everyone should be skeptical of any statements and claims made by Golden State. Demand facts, and be cautious of falling for their self-serving rhetoric aimed only at saving Golden State's financial interests in Ojai.

The Our School Board, the Board of Realtors, the City of Ojai, the Ojai Valley Defense Fund, the Surfrider Foundation, most local businesses and thousands of Ojai residents support the purchase of Golden State. This support is based on these facts.

Fact... Golden State rate payers' water bills will double in about 9 years if Golden State rate payers don't buy them out soon. Golden State rates have increased over 7.9% per year on average over the past 20 years. Casitas has only increased an average of 4.4%.

Fact... If Golden State rate payers don't buy Golden State, the rate payers will pay for all capital improvements made by Golden State PLUS pay Golden State 8%-10% interest per year on the money used to fix the water system, but in the end the rate payers will not own the system. Golden State rate payers can save the 8% -10% per year, buy the system, pay for the improvements at less than 5% interest and let Casitas operate the system for them.

Fact... Golden State charges close to three times as much for water as Casitas or any other water purveyor in the area.

Fact... The difference between today's cost of Golden State’s water and Casitas will provide millions of dollars to fund the takeover of the water system and make improvements that have been ignored for decades.

Fact... Golden State rate payers’ water bills will drop about 60% the day the rate payers buy Golden State because they will receive water at Casitas rates. The rate payers will no longer be at the mercy of Cal PUC, an unelected bureaucracy in San Francisco that sets rates with no representation from the local community.

Fact... A Water Rescue Bond (paid for only by the Golden State rate payers) will pay for the election, legal expenses, capital improvements to bring the Ojai Golden State system up to Casitas standards, and to buy the system from Golden State. There is no cost to Casitas or its present rate payers.

Fact... Interest on the Water Rescue Bond may qualify as a State & Federal tax deduction, but our Golden State water bill will not.

Fact... In 30 years the Water Rescue Bond will be paid off, and the rate payers we will own the system. We will then only pay the low Casitas water rates.

Ojai FLOW encourages rate payers to check out the savings themselves by going to the Casitas Web Site and entering their Golden State water usage:
- Select Casitas Rate Calculator
- Enter Bi-monthly, Pumped, etc.
The difference between what you pay Golden State today and what you will pay Casitas is what will be used to buy Golden State. It's that simple!

Please help us take back our water and Contribute to OjaiFLOW today.

LINK 5/5/2012: What did CBS TV News/San Francisco Say about OjaiFLOW?
"The Ventura County city of Ojai is organizing a mutiny against the water company that last year charged Bay Point residents two or three times...." - CBS T.V. News/S.Francisco
LINK 2/24/2012: CBS Gets it Right! VIDEO: Investigation Reveals Water Executives Spending Money Like Water
Source: CBS News L.A./D. Goldstein http://losangeles.cbslocal.com
UPDATE: 2-9-12 LINK: CHANGE: NEW MEETING DATE: Golden State Water Rate Increase Meeting: Feb. 29th, Wed., 2:00PM and 6:00PM, Chaparral Auditorium on Ojai Ave., Attend and tell the PUC to stop another Golden State Water rip-off ~ Sign up at www.OjaiFlow.com to receive newsletter updates and learn the truth. More Information: Ojai FLOW
12-15-11 LINK: California Public Utilities Commission Document ::: Corporate Crooks: Golden State Water Seeks the Following Huge Rate Increases in 2012, Statewide....
Download 12-15-11 C.P.U.C. DOCUMENT PDF
EMAIL ~ 1/12/12 ~
"Water Rates are Going Up -
Will the Public Rebel?"
From: Lisa Ohlund [mailto:lohlund@eocwd.com]
Thursday, January 12, 2012 12:03 AM
Request for Speaker
I am writing on behalf of the Urban Water Institute, a nonprofit educational organization whose Mission is to provide non-partisan information that is of interest to the water resources industry.
We are holding our Spring Conference in Palm Springs on February 9th and our program is entitled, "Water Rates are Going Up - Will the Public Rebel?" and we were just made aware of your group and your interest in separating from Golden State Water Company. As part of this program, we have a panel discussion entitled "Privatization of Water – Is this an Option?" We understand that this is very short notice, but we were hoping that you might have a representative that would be interested in coming to our conference and talking about the flip side of this issue - that there are ratepayers that want to leave a private water company and go to a public water agency.

Would there be someone in your organization that would be willing to come out to the desert for one day to deliver this talk? I'd be happy to discuss some of the particulars with you and/or direct you to our Executive Director, Jim Noyes.

Please feel free to contact me at the number below or on my cell phone (949) 842-3351.

Thank you,

Lisa Ohlund
General Manager
East Orange County Water District
(714) 538-5815
PRESS RELEASE ~ 7/11/11 ~ Push to Run Golden State Water Out of Town Heats Up: Ojai FLOW News Release = Golden State Water Agrees To Return $1.2 Million it Knowingly Pilfered From Ojai Customers for Years
For years, Ojai FLOW and its supporters have complained at public meetings that Golden State Water (GSWC) pays too much for contracted

services. It appears the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has now come to the same conclusion as a settlement has been reached between GSWC and the PUC for GSWC to return $1.2 million taken from Ojai customers. GSWC have also let go two senior managers in the matter.
According to Ojai FLOW chair member Pat McPherson, "This is no surprise to Ojai FLOW and we are glad Golden State Water Company practices have been revealed and hope such investigations will continue. When, in just five weeks, over half the number of people that voted in the last Ojai City election signed a petition to get rid of Golden State Water (see 5/6/11 below), and the City of Ojai and the School District (OUSD) passed unanimous resolutions to support Ojai FLOW's takeover proposal, it's a good bet something is wrong at Golden State Water. I am sure the stock holders of American State's Water (
www.aswater.com), the parent company of Golden State Water Company (www.gswater.comwww.gswater.com), will not be happy to pay back this money and may change their mind about investing in a company that has such poor ethics and strong opposition by its customers in Ojai. The settlement decision was made public on July 7, 2011 and can be [pdf] downloaded [Here and] from Ojai FLOW's web site www.OjaiFlow.com"
When asked if the recent settlement has any bearing on Ojai FLOW's move to take over GSWC, McPherson said “The settlement backs up the words on our signs that say Stop the Golden State Rip Off and gives us encouragement that our motives are right. It also makes us more committed which is why we just ordered more signs. Maybe Casitas will be able to use the $1.2 million to help buy them. We should not forget what Golden State did was seriously wrong. If an individual took $1.2 million from the wallets & purses of the Ojai rate payers, it would be front page news for weeks and the person would go to jail. No one from Golden State will go to jail but us rate payers certainly have the right to run them out of town by taking over their business sooner than later."
NOTE: Ojai FLOW is a volunteer organization dedicated to citizen ownership and control of Ojai's water. The group is focused on taking over Golden State Water that charges two to three times as much as public-owned water
companies in the same area. Ojai FLOW has presented petitions to Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD) [See Below] asking them to take over Golden State Water Company. Their feasibility study and newsletter sign up can be found on Ojai FLOW's web site
www.OjaiFlow.com. They can be contacted by e-mail: info@ojaiflow.com.

PRESS RELEASE ~ 5/6/11 ~ Ojai FLOW Collects over 1,000 Signatures to Remove Golden State Water
In just three weeks, Ojai FLOW (Friends of Locally Owned Water) has collected over one thousand petition signatures asking Casitas Municipal Water District to take over Golden State Water Company.

Ojai FLOW's goal is to get half the registered voters to sign, about 2,500, by Memorial Day. Ojai FLOW launched its campaign on April 13th and has quickly become recognized for reflecting the will of the people. Even Caltrans was concerned about the stir Ojai FLOW has caused when there were traffic jams along Ojai Avenue when Ojai FLOW opened its drive through petition site.

According to Ojai FLOW Chairman Pat McPherson, "It seems the entire community is coming out to support what we are doing, and a lot has happened in just three weeks. In addition to collecting over a thousand signatures, The Ojai City Council has voted unanimously to back the efforts of Ojai FLOW and the Ojai Valley School District has agreed to have a similar vote on their next agenda. We have had more than 2,800 unique visitors to our web site www.OjaiFlow.com where people have learned about the issues and have signed up to help and donate. The Ojai Democratic Club voted unanimously to support Ojai FLOW and donated $500, over 425 residents and businesses have put up yard signs to show their support, and presentations have been well received by local civic groups such as Rotary Clubs, the Board of Realtors, and the Education Foundation. Volunteers are now needed to walk the streets to get the remaining signatures."

Ojai FLOW says Golden State Water (Golden State) charges homes, businesses, and schools in the Ojai servie area twice as much as what Casitas Municipal Water District (Casitas) and other local publically owned water companies in the valley would charge. In 2011 Golden State will charge $5.0 million for water service and Casitas would have charged only $1.89 million for the same service. According to Mr. McPherson, "When Golden State Water rates become so high that Realtors feel they must reveal this to prospective buyers, then you know something is wrong. It's only going to get worse if we don't do something about it now".

Petitions can be signed at Ojai House, [304 N. Montgomery St., Ojai], Ojai Valley Real Estate, State Farm Insurance near Vons, and at the Ojai Pool Store in Meiners Oaks. Petition tables can also be found at various times at the drive through on Ojai Avenue, at Starr Market, Vons, Westridge Market, & the Farmers Market on Sundays.

You can get petitions to walk your neighborhood and sign up to volunteer by contacting Christine Fay at info@ojaiflow.com, phone 798-3442. A single petition is available www.OjaiFlow.com which can be downloaded, printed out, signed and mailed in if you don't have time to help but want your voice counted.

Community ownership... Community control... Community savings
* SIGN THE PETITION ~ End the Golden State Water Iron Grip on Ojai's Checkbook... Sign the Petition at LINK: Ojai House, 304 N. Montgomery St., Ojai...

Nov. 23. 2011

What Corporate Tyrant Golden State Water Wants Under It's Christmas Tree This Year..... No Surprise.... It's YOUR WALLET!!! Agin... Rate Increases Coming Dec 2 Hearing!
The following material (dated "11/21/11") was mailed to Ojai's Golden State Water Company customers around Nov. 22. - VIEW ED.
December 2, 2011, at 2 pm & 6 pm
South Bay Community Center
2180 Palisades Avenue
Los Osos, CA 93412


Golden State Water Company
Notification of Public
Participation Hearing
Central Coastal District
- Ojai Service Area
Application No. 11-07-017
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has scheduled Public Participation Hearings (PPHs) on Golden State Water Company's (GSWC) Application No. 11-07-017 to increase rates in 2013, 2014 and 2015. As part of its decision-making process, the CPUC is interested in your comments about the rate application and any aspect of GSWC's operations, customer service, or other issues related to the company.

The PPH provides the public an opportunity to provide comment on any portion of GSWC's Application before a CPUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If you cannot be present for a PPH, you may submit your comments via a letterr or e-mail to the CPUC's Public Advisor's Office (PAO) at the address noted below. Customers have the option to submit written comments or make a brief oral statement.

In GSWC's Central Coastal District, which includes the Ojai Customer Service Area, the CPUC has chosen the following location for the PPH: Public Participation Hearing, December 2, 2011, at 2 pm & 6 pm, South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Avenue, Los Osos, CA 93412

If special accommodations are needed such as sign language, please contact the Public Advisor's Office at least 5 business days prior to the hearing date at 866-849-8390.

GSWC filed Applications 11-07-017 on July 21, 2011 with the CPUC requesting the following increase over authorized 2011 revenues for the Ojai Service Area: $795,300, or 14.80% in 2013, an additional increase of $303,600, or 4.9% in 2014, and an additional increase of $340,500 or 5.3% in 2015.

These increases are necessary to keep up with increased purchased water and pumping costs which are out of GSWC's control and to meet GSWC's goals to ensure a safe and reliable source of supply, improve infrastructure and to promote the efficient use of water.


A copy of GSWC's Application No. 11-07-017 may be examined at the local office located at 408-G Bryant Circle, Ojai, CA 93023 or online at www.gswater.com .

Copies of the proposed application filing are also available for review at the California Public Utilities Commission's Central Files office at 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102 from 8:00 a.m. to noon daily.

If you need additional information, you may visit www.gswater.com or call our 24-hour Customer Service Center; toll-free, at 1-800-999-4033, TTY 1-877-933-9533.

The CPUC's policy is to hold public meetings at locations that are accessible to persons with disabilities. If you need special accommodations, bi-lingual services, or sign language interpreters, please contact the PAO at (415) 703-2074, toll-free at 1-866-849-8390, TTY (415) 703-5282, or toll-free TTY at 1-866-836-7825, at least five working days prior to the meeting.


If you wish to comment on this filing as a customer of GSWC, you may do so by e-mail or writing to the Public Advisor's Office. Written public comments by GSWC customers is very much desired by the CPUC and may be sent to the Public Advisor's Office at 320 West 4th St., Ste. 500, Los Angeles, CA 90013 or via e-mail to public.advisor.la@cpuc.ca.gov. Please refer to Golden State Water Company's Application No. 11-07-017 on any written or e-mail correspondences. All public comments received by the PAO are provided to the CPUC Commissioners and the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceeding. All e-mails and written correspondences become part of the formal file under public comments. Participating Divisions within the CPUC who are reviewing the request by GSWC will also receive a copy of all publiic comments.



Cover Story ~ July Issue #38 - VIEW
(see below)
Golden State: Caught With Their Hand in the Cookie Jar
COVER ~ July Issue #38 - VIEW
Golden State Water Popped for Theft - Owe's Ojai Money
by Joel Anderson
Golden State Water Co. (GSWC) confessed to knowingly gouging Ojai Ratepayers in a June 29 Settlement by the State Division of Water and Audits (DWA). The state agency regulates the privately held water company and perhaps the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) oversight. The settlement cannot be appealed.
The DWA found that GSWC senior management knew about violations in their own competitive bidding process which resulted in higher than normal bid costs which were then passed downstream to the ratepayers. Most significantly, the commission found that for years GSWC knowingly based additional Rate Increase requests on rates GSWC knew were inflated. The Commission found this resulted in rate payers being gouged in Ojai and elsewhere in the millions of dollars. The cover-up was not disclosed until a "senior officer", a whistleblower from within GSWC management who was not identified, came forward to the Commission with the damaging information.
The initial DWA settlement determined, "...GSWC's inclusion of the $23.7 million in the calculation of rates has exposed GSWC's customers to unjust and unreasonable charges and up to $31 million of past ratepayer harm," the settlement also noted significantly that, "...within 30 days after Commission Approval of Settlement, GSWC will file a Tier 1 Advice Letter to initiate customer refunds of previously collected revenues...." The Settlement Terms also note that Ojai's portion of the refund amounts to "$1,243,818," over $1.2 Million, and will be doled out through amortized surcredits appearing on ratepayers monthly bills over time. In addition to the money taken by GSWC, they are fined $1 Million, paid to the State General Fund. GSWC will also have to pay DWA for three separate Audits which will go back to 1994. GSWC must also recompense the rate payers for the fees paid for their own internal audits and also for costs associated with their cover up of their overcharging practices. The DWA Commission found that GSWC had gouged customers statewide to the tune of potentially $31 Million, but reached a compromise only requiring GSWC to return just $9.5 Million (approximately 30%) to the victimized ratepayers statewide.
The ruling does not bode well for Golden State Water (GSWC), which faces the very real possibility of losing its Ojai Water Franchise, thanks to the non-profit public advocacy group www.OjaiFLOW.com. OjaiFLOW seeks GSWC removal.
On July 13, a water main broke (see photos, Page 4 [above, right online]). The VIEW contacted GSWC to inquire as to how many gallons of water were lost, however as of Press Time GSWC has not returned our call.
Said, Ryan Blatz, a local attorney who also is a member of OjaiFLOW, "What's nice is that OjaiFLOW feels it has been vindicated.... as we have stated from Day One, Golden State is an unethical corporation and they will do anything including break the law to charge us the highest rates possible....it's kind of a 'See this IS Going On' moment. The million dollar fine is a very good sign that they were doing something wrong - that's a lot of money." – Joel Anderson

On Ojai Code Enforcement?
Why Worry?
It's Only
Your Money They Want

National, local and international governments are in financial disarray from their comfortable relations with bad bankers; governments then turn on the people with creative new taxes to foot the bill, they so incompetently assumed.
Their failed economic policies, created in complicity with big corporate self-interest, have not brought about promised reductions in government bureaucracies and excessive top salaries. Greedy officials are enabled by weak mainstream 'bought' media that prostitutes itself for the greedy side of Wall Street and big city type property developer organizations. They seek expanded revenue streams not by streamlining, but by instituting increased taxes for the little guy. This comes at a high price, often stripping away serious U.S. Constitutional rights.
The City of Ventura is no exception and their experiment in greed has in fact become nationally known as the sick-poster-child for chilling incompetent management. As their selfish vision of a Disneyland-esque dreamland in Downtown Ventura dried up and now blows away, they recently lock-step-installed hideous usery parking meters (called Blue Monsters by many) in an effort to merrily filch more money out of small business owners and shoppers. With the economy already bad these additional taxes have only brought a ghost town atmosphere to an already struggling business district.

Installed last November, Ventura's city-owned newspaper racks have been prophetically called coffin-like. Perhaps this one, in front of Winchester's Grill, can already be labeled as "urban blight" due to the slot vacancies, and ragtag disheveled copies of the VCReporter tossed within the busted-out-plexiglass chamber. Photo taken Apr. 16.

In their efforts to squash dissenting opinion to their unpopular rule, they have also restricted distribution of true alternative publications (the last vestige of independent thought) by unconstitutionally passing a newspaper "Rack" ordinance last year. This, they said, was to presumably keep Ventura-Cowtown "tidy." The edict limits distribution of "unpermitted" publications which have not paid a "permit" tax. This tax is illegal, with long-standing precedence in the long-repealed British Stamp Act of 1765. Ventura's law trashes the First Amendment by attempting to tax the free exercise of it. This limits press distribution, restricting free speech except to those who tow the city policy (often accepting city advertising dollars in return); they pay the unconstitutional tax. The Ventura ordinance is not equitably enforced and in fact favors cities "happy news" media friends. The law is overlooked for some. Free Speech is chilled and the failed policies continue.
Ventura is also pursuing random revenue driven code enforcement policies, under the guise of 'Public Safety' (Trojan Horse). This seems to be the new growth industry; the fines are heavily weighted against those who can least afford. In fact Ventura is the blueprint for what is currently being billed (bulldozed) as the future of Ojai. Ventura's same wonder man, code consultant and pitchman Stephen Stuart has been retained by Ojai staff to in fact bolster the town's backsliding building permit revenues by giving the city building dept. police powers; power to issue excessive fines and seize private property through foreclusure to the govt. benefit.

Wonder man, code consultant and pitchman Stephen Stuart (L) and Brian Meadows, Ojai building official & code enforcement officer tell tall tales... attempting to ramrod unconstitutional revenue driven code enforcement policies down the city of Ojai. Photo taken Mar. 8, Ojai City Council.

Ventura's Big Brother code enforcement policies have already targeted many vulnerable trusting Seniors in their homes, who are often unaware of the now neglected constitutional protections against illegal and unwarranted Search and Seizures. The city often obtains anonymous "Tips" or simply invades the privacy of private citizens' property, trespassing point-blank to fabricate their case; much in the spirit of 1930s Germany. These policies blatantly violate the Sixth Amendment Constitutional "guarantee" to the Right to Face Your Accuser, and Fourth Amendment Right Against Government Search and Seizure.
For more info, www.OjaiandVenturaVIEW.com/

OVVtaArt/VIEWPressReleases.html (VENTURA: New Code Enforcement Policies Monday Night 5/9/11)
- Joel Anderson, Editor

4/2008: Why Ventura is The Broke Capitol of the World!
Who's Money is it Anyway?
Who's Watching The Store Over At Ventura City Hall... ?
The City of Ventura LOST $10 Million Dollars over 3 years ago (well before the recent economic crash), through their ambitious high-risk investment plan; having placed precious taxpayer dollars with Bear Stearns (BS) private assets, which went belly up in the JP Morgan fiasco. This reduced Ventura's get-rich-quick-scheme to pie-in-the-sky. Most cities invest their cash assets in highly safe Treasury instruments and other government-backed securities.
VIEW Detailed Financial Analysis
Go To Page 4 & 5:
Ojai FLOW Meeting to
Review Casitas Plan
Thursday, March 7th, 2013, 6pm
Ojai Valley Inn
Ojai FLOW is hosting a meeting for all Ojai Golden State Rate Payers to review the Casitas
buyout plan in advance of Casitas public forum on March 13th. This is your opportunity to hear what the Ojai FLOW steering committee thinks of the plan and to ask questions.
Attendance is limited to Ojai Rate payers, the press, and invited guests only.

The Casitas buyout plan can be found on the Casitas web site under Casitas Board Agendas for January 29th.
FRAUD: Feb. 26, 2013: SHORTLIVED Former & Failed Senator Tony Strickland's Cronys Still Giving False Information in Support of Corporate Crooks Golden State Water (GSW)
False Emails Going Out in Ojai From Another Strickland Rep.
URGENT: Ojai residents are receiving emails from
someone named LAUREN
. She is pretending to be a concerned Ojai citizen. She is NOT from Ojai. She works for Tony Strickland! CLICK below to see the event she
organized for his campaign. Don't believe the mis-information.
Below is the link used in the same email that is being sent out throughout Ojai.
LINK: This Is Embarrassing
LINK: Eminent Domain GSW Corporate Crook Sponsors: Tea Partiers
The author, Lauren Rowlands, is linked to the Strickland campaign. Click
below to see the event she organized for him.
LINK: Get Out The Vote for Corporate Kiss Ass Tony Strickland
EVERYONE Ya'all please feel free to share and forward this info. to anyone to get the message out!
Keep Smiling!
Meeting, CPUC - GSW
Wed, Feb. 29, 2pm to 6pm ~ Location: Chaparral High/Ojai
PRESS RELEASE ~ 2/29/12 ~ URGENT, Meeting California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)/Golden State Water (GSW) Hearing in Ojai, LOCATION: Chaparral High/Ojai, THIS MAY BE OJAI'S LAST CHANCE TO Avert HUGE Millions of Dollars more in Rate INCREASES in Ojai Alone.... Stay Tuned for Info. UPDATES, Golden State Water (GSW) already Owes Millions to Ratepayers due to "Misconduct" See VIDEO (Video CPUC Meeting 12/15/11 Video)...
For information, www.OjaiFlow.com
They can be contacted by e-mail: info@ojaiflow.com
FRAUD: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) can tell you how to stop water from leaking from your pipes, but they CANNOT tell you how to stop Money from Leaking from Your Wallet and into the wallet of Golden State Water (GSW)! (Called "FRAUD" by a local attorney ~ see article below).

For Years Golden State told Ojai Rate Payers "Conserve, Conserve, Conserve" and like good citizens tend to do, Ojai Rate Payers Conserved, Conserved, Conserved.... THEN Golden State said to the Ratepayers, You Folks Are Not Using Enough Volume/Water, and So We Have to GIGANTICALLY RAISE YOUR RATES
LINK: CPUC Supports GSWC's conserve Scam
Sez Conserve Wa Wa

VIDEO: Golden State SLAMMED, but Does Not Have to Refund Stolen Money for Years... CPUC Regulatory Agency being Controlled by the Very Industries they are supposed to Watchdog...........
CPUC Commission Business Voting Meeting - December 15, 2011
CPUC Meeting 12/15/11 Video
VIEW #38 (pg 4): Golden State Water Co.
(GSWC) confessed
to knowingly gouging Ojai Ratepayers in a June 29, 2011 Settlement by the State Division of Water and Audits (DWA). The state agency regulates the privately held water company and perhaps the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) oversight. The settlement cannot be appealed.
The DWA found that GSWC senior management knew about violations in their own competitive bidding process which resulted in higher than normal bid costs which were then passed downstream to the ratepayers.....
Continue Reading Article Online Ojai and Ventura VIEW/July 2011-#38, PG 2 VIEW/July 2011-#38
Hey Houston.... We've Had a Problem...
July 13, 2011 Chaos was again bestowed upon Ojai in the form of a water leak, courtesy of Ojai's Water Purveyor, Golden State.
Still unclear was how much valuable-as-gold water resource actually flowed wastefully to the sea... the event turned the Bryant St/Ojai Avenue area into a Waterworld oasis, giving Ojai police something to do as they scrambled to make sense of it all. Utility companies convulsed to secure their particular quadrant, and at least one minor traffic accident occurred because of the confusion of the the liquid anarchy.
One property owner even considered trapping the water for a summer pond that would make parks director Dale Sumersille proud (swimming for kids in the hot summer days and beer and fishin' in the evenings for grampa)......
- Joel Anderson
Time for Golden State to Go!
What Does Ojai Have To Look Forward To In
a Future with Golden State Water?
Answer: Higher and Higher Unreasonable Water Rates!

Ojai and Ventura VIEW, Nov 2011, Issue #41
Nov #41, 2011:

- by William Weirick

The Franchise Agreement under which Golden State Water (GSW) currently operates apparently was a renewal of a previous franchise agreement which had an expiration date of 5/8/67 (OVN, 4/12/67) .
Various discussions and debates delayed the approval of a new franchise agreement until the very last day of the old agreement.
The replacement franchise agreement was adopted over the objections of the City Attorney (John F. Fay), one City Councilman (Monroe Hirach), and an accountant (Godfrey Jacobs) acting in the capacity of an auditor of the city's books. These three also did not want the change from a fixed term to an indeterminate term renewal, especially given the higher relative rates of GSW's antecedent company, Southern California Water Company (SCW). However, the majority of the Council and the City Manager of the time responded that there was no need for a fixed term given the buy-out provisions of the agreement while contending that the appropriate forum for rate issues was the state Public Service Commission (PSC), not the city council chambers.
All of this was going on while the Ventura River Municipal Water District (VRMWD) and SCW were having a bit of a water war over the right to supply water to customers along Maricopa Hwy. (OVN, 4/16/67). Both companies were racing to lay supply lines in this area in order to expand their customer base. Lake Casitas was at full capacity at the time following several very high rainfall years soon after the dam was completed. SCW, beyond having the city council majority and the city manager support, was trying to use recently passed provisions of the California Public Utilities Code to intimidate VRMWD into backing off from extending lines to customers wanting to connect to its system. VRMWD was not backing off in the face of this pressure, especially since many of the potential customers in this area wanted service from VRMWD.
The public notice for this renewal was posted 3/5/1967 (in the OVN) under the heading “Notice of Intention to Grant Franchise.” The First reading was in March. Final adoption was delayed in April pending further investigation of rates and examination of submitted gross receipts statements of the SCW to the City. Data compiled by accountant Godfrey Jacobs compared SCW's rates to four mutual water companies in the Ojai Valley, the three other water districts in the Ojai Valley, five city owned water works in Ventura County, four other privately owned water companies elsewhere in Ventura County, and sixteen other suppliers scattered around California.
Even back in 1967, rates charged by SCW were dramatically higher rates than comparable water systems, especially compared to the VRMWD, the name of the district supplying water from Casitas at the time (OVN, 5/10/67). According to this comprehensive study by Jacobs, SCW's rates at the time were 37.9 percent to 92.1 percent higher than comparable systems. In every comparison category, SCW’s rates were higher.
Councilman Hirach volunteered to further study the situation if the Council would delay this indeterminate franchise agreement approval while also stating that the VRMWD was capable and stood ready to supply the entire City of Ojai at lower rates. The second reading and passage of the franchise renewal agreement was opposed by Hirach and Jacobs because of these higher rates.
The majority of the City Council, reflecting the wishes of the City Manager, disagreed and approved the indeterminate renewal.
It was further reported at the time that the franchise agreement renewal was not exclusive and was not an impediment to the City or another entity buying out the system at some future date. The franchise agreement was characterized in the press as a right to run distribution lines under city streets. It also was reported that the franchise payments were per state law and state regulations at the time. Much of the language in this franchise agreement does in fact mirror language in the California Public Utilities Code.
The City's renewal of the franchise agreement did not stop the race between VRMWD and SCW to install pipes to serve the Maricopa Hwy. area, (OVN, 5/14/67, p.A-1) At one point, the VRMWD asked for a restraining order against the actions of the SCW in this regard.
The majority of the City Council repeatedly expressed their preference for SCW, including discussing of legal action in favor of SCW in the dispute over service areas (OVN 6/21/67). The majority of the City Council apparently backed SCW at the time, but did not see the franchise agreement as including the right to stop the efforts of VRMWD to serve city customers in the annexed areas around Maricopa Hwy. Contemplated legal action involved provisions of the state Public Utilities Code, not the Franchise Agreement.
The repeatedly cited reason for this backing of SCW can be seen (OVN, 3/29/67) where the City Manager (Jack Blalock) made a statement to the press that the “The city stood to gain financially if the disputed area were served by SCW”, citing the Franchise Agreement payment.
The VRMWD continued to lay lines for this service area after adoption of the new Franchise Agreement despite the opposition of the Ojai City Manager and the majority of the City Council. Clearly, this franchise agreement was NOT an exclusive right to service City of Ojai customers.
It was clear from reporting before and after the renewal of the Franchise Agreement that the desire to receive payments from SCW drove the City's position, even though VRMWD’s rates were much higher than SCW’s. Back in 1967, the majority of the city council (Voogd, Burr, Remund, Huckins) and the city managers over this period (Blalock and McKinney) apparently put revenue for the city above costs to the rate payers. It certainly seems that City of Ojai ratepayers have been paying relatively higher water rates because of this desire to obtain franchise fee revenue for more than forty years.
Part II. Comments
The franchise agreement itself mirrors the State Public Utility Code in most of its provisions, such as the franchise fee percentages, the assertion of the right of eminent domain for authorized legal entities to buy back the system, the need for the filing of statements regarding gross receipts, and the need for the Grantee to have a written acceptance on file with the Grantor.
It seems clear that the Franchise Agreement only covers the water distribution/treatment system. If does not cover the extraction sources. The extraction rights appear to be unadjuticated. It appears that a "municipal or public corporation duly authorized by law" has the right to acquire just the distribution system by eminent domain and choose its means of supplying water to the distribution system. This could be new wells or connection to another supply system.
Given this, why cannot the buyout value simply be the distribution/treatment system cost, excluding any consideration of extraction or water rights? The Golden State wells would not have much value without the right to distribute. Faced with this prospect, Golden State would have every incentive to be more reasonable on their buyout price. In other words, the cost of any needed new wells should be the upper limit on the value of Golden State’s alleged, unadjudicated, water rights.
Why cannot the Casitas District be duly authorized by the City of Ojai to be the “municipal or public corporation thereunto duly authorized by law” mentioned in Section 3 of the Franchise Agreement to purchase the distribution system by voluntary agreement or power of eminent domain. Would not the Casitas District receive quite a bit of legal cover and effective indemnification from the City by being designated the City's authorized entity for asserting its right of buyout?
For that matter, why cannot the City adopt a second franchise agreement with the Casitas District to convey this authorization? It does not appear that the existing Franchise Agreement is exclusive.

- William Weirick, Ojai

- by Dick Lynch
Nov #41, 2011: A friend of mine has a sayin', "You'd tell a lie, even if the truth would save you." Water, have I been talking about water? Yep. Now it's time to pay the piper. The people of Ojai have seen Water rates go through the Sky, then higher again, really Sky High like Everest! Michael Peavey is the former CEO of a major electric company (S.C.E. International) and he is also head of the state Public Utilities Commission (P.U.C.) that determines how big the rate increases are here in trusty ol' California.
No wonder every GSW rate increase gets accepted, even when it's not necessary.... Golden Mistake already charges 2-3 times higher than the other Ojai water companies.
I almost got up and left the Oct. 24 "meeting" when one speaker said GOLDEN Mistake Water has filed for yet another rate increase. Something in the State government that allows that IS corrupt. A former CEO of an Electric company, the same company that is installing those DEATH RAY METERS, Michael Peavey, needs to be removed as the Chair of the P.U.C. Call Tony Strickland and Jeff Gorell's office. Peavey is about as trustworthily as KEN LAY FROM ENRON. Golden Mistake asks Peavey and the P.U.C. say yes. EVERY TIME.
The P.U.C. never saw a rate increase they didn't like. Who said that profits in Golden Mistake were up 45% in the second quarter, and the P.U.C. allows them to make an 8.9% rate of return. Can you spell Monopoly or is it Mafia? Golden Skates underestimates the people in this Valley.... Casitas was financed with a 50 year bond. The last payment on that bond rolls on in Jan. 2012. Fifty years of responsible management...? and with a reliable water source and resource in Ojai. (Ouch 2012 how did time go by so quickly)? The big topic just yesterday was 1999. Time does go by fast.... no matter how fast it flies by we won't get to the time when we outlive our need for Water. Basic Water, Life-giving Water.
Figures lie and liars figure! GSWC has a slide show about the world's state of water affairs, about 8 or 10 slides. None of them were about "Ojai." These water "experts" had every excuse for takin' our money, and none of the facts.
What GS water did do was Threaten the residents of Ojai. They Huffed and Puffed and threatened to blow the House down. I need to remember to tell my Great Grand kids about the 3 PIGS. Well all their hot air didn't work.
Well now, there ain't a Bull that can't be Rode and ain’t a Rider that Can't be Throwed. We had one Battle Scarred Rhino, Stan Greene stand up and tell them they were threatening us in no uncertain terms and they were not welcome to be here and we had been threatened by much bigger companies that lost and had been sent scatterin' away from Ojai with their tail between their legs. Stan, who is your elected Sanitary Board Representative for the City of Ojai, was having none of those threats. Did Stan make some threats of his own? No, he just corrected the record.
A young Rhino, Ryan Blatz also took them to task, as did a number of people. The City Council finally has come to the right decision and backed the FLOW movement to make our water supply fair for the people. The People, isn't this what this is about?
I reckon this is gonna hurt a little.
When Mayor carol Smith spoke at the Matilija meeting, she was a different person than the one that Whined about losing the Franchise tax. Then she voted Down a chance to hire the Attorney that had already whopped "Tennessee Joe" from Golden Mistake Water. What caused her head to spin back around on Nov. 8 when the council voted UP and hired the attorney to shut down GSW?
Anyhow, seems ole GSW Joe had uh hum represented Cal-Am Water but they soon lost, finding themselves taken over by Felton FLOW and given over to the San Lorenzo Water district to operate responsible-like. They are a NOT-FOR-PROFIT WATER COMPANY.
Carol Smith should be forced to recuse herself on all things with Water because she has been off and on again like a leaky spicket! Why, her husband and personal lacky Larry Yuva writes screwball threatening letters to Casitas (and everybody else......) on a regular basis is beyond me. A lot of people would argue that it's actually the impetuous Carol who writes those letters - we've already seen way to much of her "Carol moments" - tirade's in council chambers to fill 50 episodes of Saturday Night Live! Either way she is standing in your way when it comes to removing GSWater and getting stable water rates for a change.
Annual Franchise tax revenues from GSW to the city amount to a mere $44,000 but cost the Ojai residents a whopping $4,400,000? Not chicken Feed indeed!
How can the Mayor be so selfish?....The new Marie Antoinette... "LET THEM DRINK WATER", but force them to pay the franchise fee"! Ojai rate payers have paid GSW extra for years, well above the cost for the same water from Casitas, of $4.4 MILLION. Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
GSW can actually be purchased with the excess charges that we pay now. The Mayor, Carol had squandered our best chance to get out from under these outrageous rates. A couple years ago she thought it was more important to be Gone Fishin' on a faraway vacation than represent the people of Ojai at the P.U.C. in San Francisco... Gone Fishin'? Maybe she should use that for her next campaign slogan.
A lot of you voted for her, I think you could call and tell her what you think of her actions, or inactions regarding the stalling.... and more stalling at finding the nuts and bolts of the water issue. Backbone? hardly.
Another Lady, Kathleen Richards, seemed to know much more about our 44-year-old Franchise Agreement than The City or GSW. Maybe she should be hired by The City to be an Intervener!
Basically The City IS holding the options; by contract it can kick GSW out of the Franchise Agreement to supply "our" water at any time and appoint a company, like Casitas, free and clear to handle it. Much of the Casitas' supply pipe runs right alongside the GSW pipes right here in town. Just a matter of The City calling in its markers on that Franchise Agreement it owns and controls. Time to call the plumber and take it back. Time is money.
City Staff had been dragging this out.... why who knows? How many of "The Staff" pay GSWater rates? Oh really no pain for them, they don't live here.... Let them get (what on old man said) a $500 dollar water bill.... but, no more than $175 at Casitas. But someone else always drinks upstream from the herd.... Are you aware that Carol Smith pays reasonable rates at Casitas for her water, NO PAIN THERE EITHER!! Wild card.....She needs to be removed from all water votes!
If the voters stay on the sidelines... But guess what, 175 turned out at the Ojai FLOW water meeting on Nov. 9 at Nordhoff. This was a Real Good meeting. Nearly every council member and also members of the Casitas board attended, as well as GSWs "P.R." videographer to record the magic (or tragic) moments. Did the GSW honcho's attend? noooooo..... Now, if we don't build that GSW noose and hoist those boys up the nearest hangin' tree real quick.... then we'll all be payin' higher and higher rates with no end in sight.
What can we do to make this better? Call or write all council people for The City and tell or bitch about the need for urgency, (did I say I stopped watering my Orange Trees). We're getting the shaft every 2 months with our water bills, and The City had been sitting on their hands. The City had been talking about all kinds of things except those that have the biggest financial impact. Time to stop ALL other agenda item's till they solve this one? Do you know of anything more important than this?? No! They need a deadline.
It's apparent from the Group of Commissioners in the All-City Meeting that everyone was totally lost. No one had a clear map or direction, no one had been given clear instructions.
This last year with this Mayor has been a disaster for Ojai. From the non-events in Libbey this year after breaking the Ojai City Bankbook and causing The City to get a LOAN, a line of credit while we Piss away money on every Consulting outfit we can find.
Take the Historic boondoggle.... how did we spend so much more on that bunch than we get from the entire WATER FRANCHISE TAX income ($44,000) and soaring? Our Mayor does have company though, she looks and acts like that distinguished Governor of TEXAS --------PERRY. Tax, Tax, Tax!!!
We sure got our money's worth didn't we? They got the franchise tax and you get taken to the cleaners.
Hang 'em High ! - Dick Lynch

- Bolivia's Own Water War With Corporate Rip-Off Artist Bechtel
by Jim Schultz

Earth Island Journal, Autumn 2000
At 10am, President Hugo Banzer places Bolivia under martial law. This drastic move concludes a week of protests, general strikes and transportation blockages that have jerked the country to a virtual standstill, and follows the surprise announcement of government concession to protesters' demands to break a $200 million contract selling Cochabamba's public water system to foreign investors.
The water system is currently controlled by Aguas del Tunari, a consortium led by London-based International Water Limited (IWL)....... Continue Reading........

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Letter - 10/24/2011
Ojai and Ventura VIEW, Nov 2011, Issue #41
Corporate Intimidation
Golden State Water
- Leonard Klaif
To the Editor and the People of
the Ojai Valley:

Along with 200 or so fellow residents of our Valley, I attended the meeting called by Golden State Water on Monday evening [Oct. 24]. It was an extremely instructive meeting. The Golden State representatives, primarily a Tennessee anti-eminent domain attorney, spent the first hour making it clear that (1) Golden State was not for sale, and (2) Golden State will do whatever it takes to drag out the eminent domain process and make it as costly as possible for us to go forward in our attempt to regain control of our water.
The people in the audience spent the next hour making it overwhelmingly clear that (1) we had taken on and defeated bigger corporate bullies than Golden State, and (2) that we would not be intimidated, we would not be threatened, and not be bullied.
Reading between the proverbial lines of what Golden State said and did not say it seems clear that we will win, that eminent domain is an achievable goal, if we stick together and don't back down.
Golden State has plans for additional "informational" meetings where they will again attempt to intimidate us. I will not attend and urge everyone to stay home. They made it clear that they will not budge. Why waste more time listening to their attempts to continue to bully and intimidate?
I urge everyone to support Ojai F.L.O.W. financially and otherwise, to place a F.L.O.W. poster in your yard, and make it clear to our elected officials that you want to take control of this most valuable and necessary resource, our water.
- Leonard Klaif
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